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Integrating Green Practices

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Just to start off- why would we worry about doing a sustainable event? I know you're all here because you have interests in it, but sometimes there's a bit of selling the idea to the group that you're presenting to, that you're doing the function for. And that can be good to have some tools to say why it's important to them, because they might not necessarily feel it's a high priority. So welcome- hello. And those reasons would be to educate. It's an opportunity to educate people about sustainability and - A chance to educate people. The obvious chance to reduce our carbon footprint. Some of the changes, when making your event more sustainable, will actually save you money in the long run. OSU is very much set up to help you accomplish the goal of making your event more sustainable. So most of the work is already done. During this talk today, it'll be more about here are your resources, here's how to do it. It's more just having the idea and actually taking that step of actually making it happen. The biggest reason is because it's part of who we are as Beavers. Quoting from "true to our Oregon heritage, we are dedicated to preserving the healthy balance between human communities and the earth we depend on." So, areas of an event where you can make sustainable choices. And these are the three primary areas I'll be talking about today. So starting with site selection, sustainable events at OSU. Earth week has been doing, has a history of doing sustainable events here on campus. But prior to 2008 University Day, at least in talking with the sustainability office and OSU Catering, there hadn't been that much of a focus on people requesting to do sustainable events on campus. So we're really kind of on the start of people being really interested in it. Some other examples of sustainable events though that have taken place: the 2013 Picnic which was the welcome for all new students this year, was done as a completely zero-waste event, and was very successful. The SustainaBall, that was held last year. The Beaver Community Fair. And Peace Jam. How Peace Jam had been worked to be sustainable, they encouraged people to bring reusable water bottles and coffee mugs to their events. A bit about the history of composting here in the Corvallis area, and what has really allowed us to make big strides recently. As you're probably familiar, Allied Waste is the facility for processing our trash and compostables and recyclables here in this area. And they have made some really big advances just in the past year. Even, you know, down to the past six months. Predominately that has been the ability to compost post-consumer waste. The rules in the recycling world were that once food waste to come in contact with a person that's when it becomes post-consumer. And they had to have certain guidelines in being able to compost those materials and let them break down and be safe. So you never know who the consumer was. So making the compost that comes out of it really safe. What Allied Waste has been able to do just within the past six months they have implemented a method of composting that allows for the post-consumer product to be safely composted. And that's opened up a great avenue to make your sustainability on your food service must easier. Prior to that and how we handled it for 2008 University Day was we worked with the Student Sustainability Center which had a system called an Earth Tub. And that allowed for the higher temperature of composting and breaking down that post-consumer product. And you may have noticed at your home waste recovery that they've now started allowing compost in with your yard debris. And they'll state, right now they cannot take the post-consumer at that level. So they can take your garden scraps, or, you know, your kitchen scraps but they don't necessarily want your leftover food waste right now because they don't have it worked out at that level. So the post-consumer goes through commercial-level recycling and composting. So in working with the Sustainability Office, which we'll talk a little more about later, that's why they can process the post-consumer through that way but you can't necessarily mix your post-consumer compost in with your yard waste in your yard waste recycling bin that Allied Waste picks up from your home. So, here's something that's really cool. What Allied Waste is doing here in Corvallis is the only place in Oregon that they're doing the post-consumer composting. Portland is jealous. They're actually- Other communities are actually looking at ways to ship their post-consumer waste to Corvallis for processing. So, pretty exciting that we're really that much on the cutting edge. "So wait, to clarify: post-consumer waste you're meaning" "the food after it's been served on a plate and then" "the whatever people don't eat?" Anything that could possibly come in contact with a person, other then during the food prep. So it's one thing if you have your, you know, your veg- "So raw? Raw food is fine, but cooked or..." Right. If it's cooked food that people have come in contact with it. If, you know, you've eaten on it, you've scraped a plate that sort of thing, that's considered post-consumer. And that's why your kitchen scraps, the vegetable shavings and such like that, are basically a preconsu- are safe to go into your waste. So, starting with the big picture these are the three main areas where we can make a difference in our event planning and make those- be greener in our efforts. Some of the, especially this first one, is a little bit limited so much if we're doing on-campus events. But site selection can make a difference. And what you're able to work with on that is selecting a venue or location that fits the size of your group. So don't necessarily pick the Ballroom if you're only having a group for 20. And how that impacts in the sustainability world, you know, the number of lights that you have on, the heating and cooling. That sort of thing. So finding the right size room. Work with your building manager, or with the building manager of the site that you select to get the temperature control set properly so you don't have to prop doors open. That sort of thing can increase the utility bills for the particular location. Turn the lights off when you're done. A big one, and I didn't really think about this as we have projectors on all the time, but if you're not using a projector turn it off. They suck a lot of energy and that's an easy way. It's not something we think about regularly. Support locations that practice green techniques. I mean a lot of places here or across campus are conscientious of that. We make great efforts to keep our computers on hibernate, that sort of thing. So OSU campus we're pretty well set. LaSells Stewart Center, do they do some green practices, making sure to be more efficient, do you know? Didn't mean to put you on the spot. "They've changed out all their lights here." "So there are more sustainable lights." But when you go off campus, you know, think about as you're making your site selection, you know, if the place is doing some green efforts and making sure that your groups fits the size of the room that you're looking at. One thing that has been suggested by the Sustainability Center and campus recycling is to- Or, well no. I'm sorry. Brandon Trelstad suggested buying carbon offsets. That's not something I think necessarily a lot of us have the ability to do. Although, he did mention that some people on campus have purchased carbon offsets to balance out for their events. I thought that is was kind of an interesting idea. Talk with Brandon Trelstad if you have more questions about that. One of the resources we have on campus is the Solar Trailer. How many people have seen the Solar Trailer running around on campus? So Pete Lepre is the one who you can contact to get the Solar Trailer. And what that is, it's a very interesting vehicle. They will tow it to your location and set it up and it allows you to plug directly into the trailer. Once they get it in location they lift up the big old solar panels and spread them out so it has a really great visual and it gives you the benefit of getting power to some locations that you might not necessarily be able to in other situations. Recently we used, well last spring, we used the Solar Trail for an event and how it was a tent presentation that we had set up. It was going to be like $400 to have facilities come and run power from light pole just to power the PA system that we needed. Well we were able to bring in the Solar Trailer at no charge, plus have that great visual that we were powering the podium with the Solar Trailer. Now you may think Solar Trailer I have to worry about the sun and it's a night event, that sort of thing. That's not necessarily the case. It's not a limiting factor. They charge up the Solar Trailer in its regular storage.So you're running a long event you'll definitely need the sun to able to keep it going. But I think it runs something like four hours with a moderate pull of power off that. So if you can work the Solar Trailer into one of your events Pete Lepre is your contact for that. Alright. And then transportation. If you're here on campus you're probably not going to have to worry about too much about transportation. Everybody's already here. But if you're going to an off-site location it's something that you can think about. You can rent a bus to get all your attendees there. And then OSU has this very interesting rideshare program which allows you to go on to this website and register where your activity is taking place and then you can point other people to this rideshare program which would allow people to kind of coordinate efforts and carpool to your activity. And then here's an area where you, as the event planner, can really make a big difference. And that is all the materials that you provide all the way through the event. And one thing that Andrea and I have learned through doing University Day is communicating with your audience that you're doing a zero-waste or a waste conscious event from the beginning. Or in materials throughout, in signage can make a really big difference on how successful the zero-waste, the composting, recycling that sort of thing are. It makes a big difference on how successful it is, and then it also gets you kudos as a planner for your conscientious effort of being more sustainable. So ways you can do that- You can announce it on your website. You can put it in the invitations . Using signage is huge. That comes into that kind of education portion. But educating people and educating them through signage can make a huge difference on how successful you efforts are. And if you're working with vendors- -individually wrapped treats, or maybe a gumball machine type dispenser to eliminate that little bit of extra packaging and still make your food safe for your visitors and guests. A little bit deeper into your communication you can send your invitations electronically versus traditional paper invitations. This is something that Kate and I have done for a couple years now. And that was acutally at the request of President and Mrs.Ray that for folks on campus to send electronic. And you know what? People seem to really like it. You want to comment anything on that? "I like it a lot better because" "I can actually personalize" "the invitation when I do it electronically," "more cost effectively. You can actually" "send the invitation to the person with their" "name in it instead of just" "a 'we invite you','we invite Vickie Nunnemaker'." "So it just adds that little" "special personal touch." "And I also find that replies" "come back a heck of a lot faster" "and a lot more people actually" "take the time to reply electronically" "than they do with the paper invitation." "And it's easier for me then to go back" "and track down who hasn't replied" "because I have their email address" "and everything right there and just go back" "and find out 'hey are you coming or not,'" "'What's your story'.So it's just the easier" "way to communicate with your guests, by far." "And a lot less time consuming" "and definitely a lot less" "financially. I mean the cost of" "invitations, you're looking at 32 cents an invite" "plus the envelope," "plus the stamp, plus your time," "print them, stuff them, managing" "a printer that's not cooperating." So electronics is definitely a great way to go for that. And it's very widely accepted now. People are very comfortable with that form of invitation, even at some more formal levels, which is nice. Send out your agendas electronically and post handouts online. So the notes that I'm using for my talk today they are on the University Events website. Go to Tools for Planners and the first topic it says "Go here for presentation notes for Training Days 2009". So you can see exactly what I'm using as my cue sheet. It's not fancy. It's not pretty. But it has a little bit more information than just giving you the powerpoint. And, you know, if you only want to look at a few details it saves you from having to print it out as well. Request recycled content paper when you do have to print things and include a tag at the bottom that says that it's printed on recycled paper. One thing that I've learned recently is that there's a lot of different contents of recycled material in papers now. And a lot of them, the enviro-paper you'll see, will say it's 30% post-consumer. And you may look at that and say "hey well you know I know there's 100% post-consumer options out there". The difference that you're looking at between a 30% and a 100% post-consumer remember, post-consumer and pre-consumer here, is that it actually takes more chemicals to make a nice pretty piece of paper if it's 100% post-consumer. So the gain that you're making, you're putting more chemicals into the environment to try to have that bright clean white piece of paper even if it's 100% post-consumer. So what they found is the 30% post-consumer, regular copy paper, is the current, efficient standard to choose. Another thing is if you're getting a higher post-consumer content is don't ask for the bright white. You know, when you get the flecks and it's a little bit more grayish. I mean it's still perfectly functional piece of paper, but that's another way you can kind of trade off in your post-consumer content when you're looking at paper chooses. Use name badges that can be recycled. More and more I'm seeing at conferences, you know, you get your name tag and there's a bin at the end where you toss it back in. That's something that Kate and I have been doing for quite some time. We have the plastic pin back holders, where we'll print out the name tags Kate or Katelyn will cut them all out and stuff them all in. And then at the end of the event we'll collect them back, well they're just white pieces of paper or recyclable paper that we used to make the inserts and then the name badges are ready to be reused again. In the borrowables that we offer, that's something that we could work with your group on if you would like to do this. So we could send you out with some of the name tag holders that we've used in the past and then you just need to pay for the ones that don't get returned back. So a way that we could work together to do that recycling method through the name tags. Collecting your name tag holders after the end of the event is very helpful if have someone there especially- they've gone out of a dinner and you're catching most of the guests as they've left to say "thank you for coming we can recycle your name tag if you'd like" that sort of thing, because most of the time by that point people have totally forgotten that they're wearing a name tag and I'm surprised at how many of them say "oh, oh yeah, I have a ton of these at home". And what I'll frequently say, because Kate and I work with so many events that we have kind of a stockpile of this type of thing, we'll encourage them "hey, you know, if you have a stack at home you just want to get rid of, send back to us". And we know what Conference Services uses as far as their name badges, so if we get ones that you use- You use the hang tag and the plastic pouch ones, the hang tag goes around the neck- if we get those back in we send them on to you so you're able to recycle them as well. Or we use them as well. If you're giving a physical item you can include a web address on your piece so that they can go for more information. One of my favorite ways to save within decor is to partner with other people on campus. And that's in ways- Find out if someone's having an event close to yours and see if you can go in together and share centerpieces. We work frequently with VetMed to do that. It works out great. Buy the centerpiece once, get two, three uses out of it. So it's a great way. And it's just talking with other event planners through either the new IMC learning groups through the Ning Network is a great way to talk about what events you have going on and find people that you can connect with. Or, you know, contact us. Look at the OSU calendar and see if there's an event that kind of matches up and contact the planner for that and say "hey is there a way we can partner and share some resources here". And then everybody saves money. And then one recent one that I've read about, because I did some research to see if there were any holes that we were missing as far as our presentation with this, and that was in regard to gifts. There has been a trend lately to give experiential gifts versus physical, as many physical items. So if there are tours or lectures or special one-on-one type things, those can be a great opportunity to still give a gift but it's not an object. It's not just more stuff. And the return on that also is you're getting an opportunity to share a little bit more about you or your group within that gift-giving opportunity. So the first and foremost important thing to do is to tell the caterer that you want to do a sustainable event. Get them in on it from the very beginning. But no matter who you choose as your caterer, if you're doing an event here on campus involve our sustainability group. So currently that is housed within Campus Recycling. The contact for that is Andrea Norris and I'll give you her name and such at the end of this presentation. Or I mean her phone number and such and the end of this presentation. But get them involved as well. Let them know if you're trying to do compostable and such like that because they have some resources too. But let's start off with catering for right now. So you've told your caterer that you want to do a sustainable event and that can apply in a couple different ways. It can involve what you order and how you order. And then the staffing and the other two points we'll get on to in a bit. One of the big things that you can do is specifically state that you would prefer not to use personal condiment packets. So the little mustards, ketchups, sugars, creamers, that sort of thing. Catering knows how to deal with this,

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Duration: 33 minutes and 21 seconds
Country: United States
Language: English
Genre: None
Views: 67
Posted by: umarket on Jan 11, 2010

Into your event planning.

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